Resume Trends Every Military Member Should Know Before Separation
Writing a top-notch resume is the first step in your career planning process. But how do you know what trends will make a hiring manager do a double take? Today, Empire Resume will break down the top resume trends that you should be aware of before separating from your respective military branch – be it the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.
All great resumes have these five elements:
Keep in mind that these elements are a standard part of resume writing. Trends, on the other hand, come and go.
But what about federal resumes?
Writing a federal resume is a different ballgame as they highlight your military experiences in greater detail. For more information, see our article entitled, “Writing A Federal Resume.”
Now, walk with us as we explore the top trends that will keep your resume current and in style through 2020.
Tailor Your Resume
Your resume is a marketing tool and it should be created with a great amount of care and attention.
Although there are several rules of writing military resumes, this document should be tailor made for the job or at least the industry you’re seeking to jump start your professional life as a civilian.
As you’re searching for jobs, be sure to take note of the job description and do your research on the industry. Doing so will help you locate the keywords and phrases you need to create your resume.
You’ll soon find out that the correct wording can give your resume a boost in the ATS optimization department, which we’ll discuss next.
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a resume scanning software that sends, what it believes to be, the most qualified candidates to a recruiter.
Think of the ATS as the middleman. The software serves as a gatekeeper to hiring managers.
Before a recruiter lay eyes on your resume, it must pass the ATS test first.
There is a possibility that a manager will never have the opportunity to review your resume. According to an article in CNBC Make It, 75% of resumes are never read by a human.
To keep your application from being rejected, try these tips for optimizing your resume:
- Include relevant keywords
- Use proper formatting
- Ensure accurate spelling
Common mistakes that contribute to the ATS rejecting a resume include graphics, fancy colors, fonts, and tables.
As we mentioned before, the best resumes are not the prettiest. However, the exceptional resumes are the ones that are easily recognizable by computer software and human eyes.
To help guide your career journey, we’ve listed some of the top ATS software listed by JobScan, a reputable job search site, so you can easily identify them while applying for jobs:
- Smart Recruiters
Please keep in mind that if you are applying for employment at large organizations, you are more susceptible to facing an ATS. 99% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS as a hiring and recruiting tool, according to JobScan.
For more information on ATS and how it works, check out our informative article, “Understanding Applicant Tracking Systems.”
Highlight Your Soft Skills
The resumes of today and the resumes of the future, requires you to focus more on your soft skills.
Soft skills are interpersonal traits based on your character. These types of skills show how well you work with others and relate to them as well.
According to Bruce Anderson with LinkedIn Talent Solutions, soft skills is what companies need most in 2020. Soft skills are about behavior and thinking, personal traits, and cognitive skills.
Although they are difficult to measure, they can help you shine in different roles and industries.
The most in demand soft skills include:
- Emotional intelligence
Military members, and veterans like you and me, thrive on the ability to quantify or measure achievements.
Unfortunately, soft skills are intangible. You can’t touch them or speak of them in numbers to show how much of a soft skill you have.
For example, there’s no way you can say, “I used 95% of my time management skills to save my department a million dollars.”
So how do you identify these soft skills?
With help from an article on Glass Door, here a few strategies for developing your soft skills by Nicole Wood, CEO of Ama La Vida:
- Be self-aware of your strengths
- Be aware of your areas of improvement
- Ask friends, colleagues, and former employers the soft skills that come to mind when they think of you
Your soft skills show how you make an impact on the professional lives of others. When you combine your soft skills with technology, you become a powerful force of a candidate in the civilian workforce.
Show Your Technological Competence
Tech skills are important in today’s modern workforce. Technology impacts all industries throughout the U.S. and beyond, so there’s no running from it.
While many DIY resume writers use Microsoft Word’s Resume Assistant, this word processor is a favorite among companies large and small.
From email to project management and virtual work arrangements, technology affects every aspect of the workforce.
So, if you have amazing tech skills in a certain software, computer language, or program, you want to list these skills on your resume.
Kickoff Your Career Outside of the Military with Empire Resume
With all these trends to know concerning resumes, anxiety can creep in and make you second guess yourself. But you don’t have to do this alone.
Allow Empire Resume to write an outstanding resume built to withstand ATS and grab the attention of hiring authorities.
Our certified professional resume writers will showcase your skills to bring out the best in you. To discover how we can help you, review our military blog or choose the best military to civilian resume writing package that applies to you. Empire Resume’s professional resume writing services delivers results, guaranteed!
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.